Active since the mid-'80s, Fred Hammond is one of the most popular praise & worship leaders in contemporary gospel music. Born in San Antonio but raised in Detroit, Hammond began singing with his church choir at the age of 12, played bass and sang with the Winans during the early '80s, then joined Commissioned later in the decade, showcasing his superb arranging, production, and songwriting skills as well as his soaring vocals. Hammond's concurrent solo career began in 1991. Through a long-term association with the Verity label, he gradually embraced an in-concert feel even on his studio recordings. Much of his output, billed as solo releases or as group efforts featuring the choir Radical for Christ, has won Dove and Stellar awards. While with Verity, Pages of Life: Chapters I & II (1998), Free to Worship (2006), and God, Love & Romance (2012), along with a few other titles, topped Billboard's gospel chart. Hammond technically moved to RCA Inspiration following the label's absorption of Verity. There, Hammond continued to thrive with his United Tenors project (2013) and I Will Trust (2014). The album entered the number one position on Top Gospel albums chart the week of its release. He followed the set with the live Worship Journal in 2016. It marked his first concert release in 17 years. He returned in 2018 with Uncle Fred: Texture of a Man (Face to Face).
Also a prolific collaborator and producer, Hammond has worked with a cross-generational crop of fellow gospel musicians, including the Williams Brothers, Yolanda Adams, and Israel & New Breed. ~ John Bush & Andy Kellman
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